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Title: An ecological study of Bithynia snails, the first intermediate host of Opisthorchis viverrini in northeast Thailand
Authors: Wang, Yi-Chen 
Ho, Richard Cheng Yong
Sithithaworn, Paiboon
Feng, Chen-Chieh 
Namsanor, Jutamas
Issue Date: 18-Feb-2014
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Wang, Yi-Chen, Ho, Richard Cheng Yong, Sithithaworn, Paiboon, Feng, Chen-Chieh, Namsanor, Jutamas (2014-02-18). An ecological study of Bithynia snails, the first intermediate host of Opisthorchis viverrini in northeast Thailand. Acta Tropica. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Infection with the food-borne trematodiasis, liver fluke Opisthorchis viverrini, is a major public health concern in Southeast Asia. While epidemiology and parasitic incidence in humans are well studied, ecological information on the O. viverrini intermediate hosts remains limited. This study aimed to investigate the factors affecting the distribution and abundance of the first intermediate host, Bithynia siamensis goniomphalos snails. Water quality and snails were sampled in 31 sites in Muang District, Khon Kaen Province, Thailand from June 2012 to January 2013 to characterize the B.s. goniomphalos snail habitats. Species relative abundance and Shannon's diversity and evenness indices were employed to describe snail compositions and diversities across different habitat types. Statistical analyses were conducted to examine the extent to which the water quality variables and species interactions account for the relative abundance of B.s. goniomphalos snails. The results showed that the freshwater habitats of ponds, streams and rice paddies possessed significantly different abiotic water qualities, with water temperature and pH showing distinct statistical differences (P < 0.05). Different habitats had different snail diversity and species evenness, with high B.s. goniomphalos snail abundance at rice paddy habitats. The differences in snail abundance might be due to the distinct sets of abiotic water qualities associated with each habitat types. The relative abundance of B.s. goniomphalos snails was found to be negatively correlated with that of Filopaludina martensi martensi snails (r = −0.46, P < 0.05), underscoring the possible influence of species interaction on B.s. goniomphalos snail population. Field work observations revealed that rice planting seasons and irrigation could regulate snail population dynamics at rice paddy habitats. This study provides new ecological insights into the factors affecting Bithynia snail distribution and abundance. It bridges the knowledge gap in O. viverrini disease ecology and highlights the potential effect of anthropogenic irrigation practices on B.s. goniomphalos snail ecology.
Source Title: Acta Tropica
ISSN: 0001706X
DOI: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2014.02.009
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